During my first parent-teacher conference today (daughter is 2 1/2), the teacher's primary concern was that my daughter is quite timid and withdraws when the other kids take toys from her or act aggressive. She wants to see her being louder, acting more assertive, and having more confidence.

I would say my daughter is at a genetic disadvantage here. I was the same way as a child and it was only as an adult that I really learned (and forced myself) to become a more assertive and outgoing person.

Are there any good resources (books, media, links, or even advice) that can help me help my daughter?

asked 04 Mar '11, 14:05

blue's gravatar image

accept rate: 26%

edited 04 Mar '11, 14:05

Blue, I've been to dozens of parent/teachers, and the most important thing I've learned at them is to take anything said about my childrens basic personalities with a grain of salt. Absolutely no disrespect to your daughters teacher, or any of my kids teachers, they were very fine people who were dedicated to their vocation and the children they were entrusted with. But, teachers are people, with their own preferences and prejudices, and extroverted teachers tend to value extroverted characteristics. Introverted teachers tend to appreciate the introverts.

Do you want your daughter to be louder, acting more aggresively, and is she really lacking in confidence? Perhaps she just needs to find friends who enjoy "playing gently" as my daughter puts it.

Introverts tend to be misvalued in our society, but there are benefits to being one of the dreamers.

The Benefits of being an Introvert

This link might reassure you, and there are some strategies that you might be able to use with your daughter if you'd like to help her overcome some of the harder bits of being shy.


answered 05 Mar '11, 03:53

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

There is a difference between being shy and being introverted. I am an introvert, but when necessary I can and do assert myself. No one who knows me would ever say that I am shy. However, I do find being around large groups of people is physically draining - one of the major traits that marks someone as introverted. Shyness has to do with the inability to express yourself in any size group.

(09 Mar '11, 01:01) mkcoehoorn

After re-reading your question the second time I think I understood your question more. The fact that she is only 2 and a half changed how I would go about answering you.
I think that it is marvelous that she is already attending a nursery, and I am sure you will see the benefits of this when she begins primary school (this is something that I have witnessed with my own daughter)

I would ask my self the following questions, this could lead to you asking for more detailed information from your daughters teacher too.

  • How long has your daughters teacher known her or how long has she been at the nursery/school?
  • How many children age there in the classroom?
  • Which activities does your daughter seem to enjoy more?
  • Which type of characteristics have you observed in your daughter to date?

As Neen says with no disrespect to the teacher at all, I think that her wanting to

''see her being louder, acting more assertive, and having more confidence''

is in my opinion a little too early to be expecting such emotionally developed behavior from a 2 and a half year old.

The sections below may be interesting for you to glance at.

social & development, developing understanding, and some sections from what you can do

I hope these help a bit, but to answer your question of 'How can I teach my daughter to be more assertive?' my own advice is I think providing her with a caring loving and understanding environment where she grows and feels confident is probably the first step of many, as she grows her self confidence (hopefully) increases too, and she will be emotionally developed enough at each stage to understand and exert herself if and when its needed in her school environment.


answered 08 Mar '11, 04:43

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 08 Mar '11, 04:57

+1 Great answer Emi!

(10 Mar '11, 18:06) Neen

I would say, the best way for you teach your daughter a certain behavior is for you to model that behavior. Let her see you speak up for yourself.

Also drama classes and etiquette classes can help with confidence levels (I suspect that dance and gymnastics can as well). I realize that your daughter is a little young for these right now, but it is an on-going process, and they are something you can consider as she gets older.


answered 04 Mar '11, 14:26

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

Boxing? :)

More seriously, we have been seriously considering enrolling our daughter in a Karate class.

We've also hesitated a lot over the "don't hit back" policy (which we have at home with her and her sister). As it stands we've told her that if the teacher still doesn't intervene after having been told about some problem, she can take matters into her own hands.

I'm not sure that she dares to though...


answered 07 Mar '11, 02:32

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 04 Mar '11, 14:05

Seen: 5,065 times

Last updated: 10 Mar '11, 18:06